Government shelves plan to build Northampton school

The masterplan for Buckton Fields, with land allocated for a primary school marked in yellow at the far right
The masterplan for Buckton Fields, with land allocated for a primary school marked in yellow at the far right

A school that was one of the key conditions for a controversial Northampton housing estate being granted permission has been delayed.

The Buckton Fields estate was opposed by Kingsthorpe residents and Northampton Borough Council because of the swamping effect 1,050 new homes would have on roads and facilities.

Guildhall planners reluctantly accepted that the development would go ahead but stipulated measures to ease pressure on local services, such as healthcare facilities and a site about the size of two rugby fields for a primary school.

But - following the pushing back of the original opening date of September 2019 - the Department for Education has now confirmed that Buckton Fields Primary School will not be built in 2020 either.

Preston Hedges Academy Trust, which was to run the school as a free school, tweeted: "We have been advised by the DFE that as part of a review Buckton Fields is to be delayed and will therefore no longer be opening in 2020.

"It has been concluded that a new school couldn’t be justified for 2020 based on the projected pupil numbers in the development and capacity in other local schools.

"The Preston Hedge’s Academy Trust remains committed to the Buckton Fields project and is disappointed with the decision not to open the school in 2020."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said:“We will be keeping the Buckton Fields free school project and the need for an additional primary school in the local area under review.”